Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Breaking news - Who Reaction Box Set

THE WHO HITS 50! 2015



There is no more significant a milestone in Rock Music than the 50th Anniversary. Through the decades, THE WHO redefined rock music as we know it and their influence continues in all areas of popular culture to this day.

 THE WHO HITS 50 continues throughout all of 2015 with very special re-releases throughout the year, a huge celebratory show in Hyde Park and headlining the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury for the second time.


As part of the on going Who Hits 50! Celebrations, on August 14ththe second in a series of 7” singles box sets is released following on from The Brunswick Singles Box 1965-66 which was an instant sellout when released earlier in the year.

The Reaction Singles Box 1966 is volume two of a four part set of classic Who singles by labels (Brunswick, Reaction, Track and Polydor). Containing four 7” singles and an EP from the Reaction label pressed on heavyweight vinyl with paper sleeves (reproducing the period graphics front and back with die-cut centre holes).

The singles are housed in a rigid ‘lid-and-tray’ outer box and features a 7” sized colour booklet with liner notes about each release by Who biographer Mark Blake.

In early 1966, The Who broke their contract with producer Shel Talmy and Brunswick Records, they signed a temporary deal with their agent and future music mogul Robert Stigwood’s independent Reaction Records. In March, just before Brunswick released 'A Legal Matter' without The Who’s permission, the band issued their own new single, 'Substitute'.

The Who’s bust-up with Shel Talmy meant that the original 'Substitute single', with 'Circles' on the flipside, had to be withdrawn from sale. The Who reissued the single a week later with 'Circles' re-titled 'Instant Party'.

When 'Substitute' reappeared for a third time, it’s new B-side, an instrumental entitled' Waltz For A Pig', was credited to The Who Orchestra but actually featured another of Robert Stigwood’s clients, the Graham Bond Organization. Despite that legal tug of war, 'Substitute' reached Number 5 in the UK; a timeless snapshot of The Who in their power-pop prime.

A five-track EP released in November ’66, the title of Ready Steady Who referenced the popular ITV pop show Ready Steady Go!, on which the band were regular guests.

The EP’s song selection was certainly eclectic, 'Circles', a track that had appeared as the B-side of the original 'Substitute' single, made a re-appearance on the A-side here, and was joined by a new Townshend composition, 'Disguises', a song driven by hypnotic percussive rhythms and jangling guitar. The reverse side of the EP featured The Who in a lighter mood. It included one of their current live numbers, a version of the popular Batman TV show theme, plus two of Keith Moon’s favourite songs: US surf duo Jan And Dean’s 'Bucket T' and 'Barbara Ann', which had been a hit for The Beach Boys earlier that year.
The Reaction Singles 1966
b/w ‘Circles’ AKA ‘Instant Party’
(Reaction 591001)
Released 4 March 1966.
NOTE: Reaction issued 3 versions of 591001. The first two were as above but the b-side had differing titles.

b/w ‘Waltz For A Pig’
(Reaction 591001)
Released 14 March 1966
This is version 3 with the unusual b-side credited to ‘The Who Orchestra’.

I’m A Boy’
b/w ‘In the City’
(Reaction 591004)
Released 26 August 1966
Ready Steady Who (EP)
‘Disguises’, ‘Circles’
b/w ‘Batman’, ‘Bucket T’, ‘Barbara Ann’
(Reaction 592001)
Released 11 November 1966

Happy Jack’
b/w ‘I’ve Been Away’
(Reaction 591010)
Released 9 December 1966

Friday, 1 May 2015

Oasis V Blur - It was 20 years ago...

Oasis V Blur - It was twenty years ago….


Not today though, that would be August 12th that saw the battle lines drawn between the two Britpop bands, Oasis & Blur on the cover of the NME. Whilst there had been the usual Gallagherisms in the press, the spat was typically overblown in the tabloids resulting in this faceoff between the singles “Roll With It” & “Country House”. The later single hit the number one spot, Blur won the battle but may have lost the war in the resulting album sales as Oasis’ “ What’s The Story Morning Glory sold over 4 million copies

Twenty years later, Blur release a new album after a 12 year hiatus and Noel releases his second solo album under the High Flying Birds moniker, two months apart. 

Noel’s LP “Chasing Yesterday” is another return to songwriting form, building on the excellent debut LP. Released at the end of March on a single LP this is a quality quiet pressing, that to my ears is the finest sounding Gallagher album to date. There are some masterful chord changes (The Girl with the X-Ray Eyes), melodic hooks abound (The Ballad Of The Mighty I). I really like the track “The Right Stuff” that mixes Portishead atmosphere with Stone Roses grooves

This week Blur have released their new LP “The Magic Whip”. Their first new album since “13”, it’s a partial return to form released on two quality LP discs. This isn’t the Parklife album, only the opener “Lonely Street” harks back to the cockney classic and it never reaches the heights of the sharpest tracks on “Modern Life Is Rubbish & The Great Escape”. It is a huge improvement on Daman Alban’s extremely weak solo LP of last year (Everyday Robots). There are some beautifully understated songs here though (Ice Cream Man) and Stephen Street’s return at the recording helm is hugely evident. 

It’s Manchester 2 London Nil. 

See you in 20…..